The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) presents treasures of European photography from its inception in 1839 to the present in the exhibition Foto Europa, 1840 to Present. More than 70 works by European photographers drawn mostly from the DIA collection will be on view Oct. 25, 2013–April 27, 2014. The exhibition is free with museum admission.
Europe has long been the site for groundbreaking innovation and experimentation in photography by influential artists and photographers. Foto Europa highlights the contributions of Europeans to the history and tradition of fine art photography as well as artists who have used the medium as a vehicle for contemporary art since 1960. Included are rare examples of early techniques, classic black-and-white photography and large-scale contemporary color photographs, many of which have never been on view.
•19th-century French daguerreotypes;
•Early paper prints by British pioneers William Henry Fox-Talbot, war documentarian Roger Fenton and Victorian portraitists Julia Margaret Cameron and Scottish painters turned photographers Hill and Adamson;
•Self-portraits by women artists Ilse Bing, Claude Cahun, and Hannah Höch;
•Experimental work and abstraction from between the World Wars by Herbert Bayer, Lázló Moholy-Nagy, and Man Ray;
•Early to mid-19th-century innovative reportage photographs by Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Robert Frank;
•Documentary studies that examine types of people and buildings by influential German photographers including early 20th-century portraits by August Sander, a multi-panel “typology” by Bernd and Hilla Becher and large-scale color work by Candida Höfer.
On view for the first time at the DIA are: L’album photographique de Christian Boltanski, 1948-1956 from 1972, a fictional take on a traditional photo album of so-called childhood pictures by and of Boltanski; and German painter Gerhard Richter’s 1969 mysterious multi-panel series entitled 9 Objekte (9 Objects). The two contemporary artists have dramatically different styles but both use the medium to challenge traditional ideas of photography to express truthful representations of reality.
A special section devoted to recent work by European photographers in Detroit includes the contrasting architectural studies by German artist Karin Jobst and French duo Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, and portraiture by Dutch photographer Corine Vermeulen, who currently resides in Detroit.
Hours and Admission: Museum hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62+, $4 for ages 6–17, and free for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties and DIA members. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.